Verse for the week: “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mt 20.28
Prayer of the week: Lord God, heavenly Father, in your Son you have given the world a pioneer of salvation and made him the true and eternal priest and mediator of his people. Grant that we may hold fast to him in love, learn obedience in his discipleship, and so be brought into the heavenly sanctuary through him, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. [K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das Jahr der Kirche, 2nd edition (Kassel: Johannes Stauda-Verlag, 1948), p. 114.]
Bible reading for the day: Ephesians 5.25-33
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for Christ’s self-giving love for his bride, the church. Repent us husbands of failing to have the same love for our wives. Our marriage belongs to you Lord, I am simply a steward of this precious, intimate gift… so teach me to love and cherish my wife the way Jesus does… that your name may be glorified. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Hymn: follow this link to a beloved, classic hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i6NrqCfLTs
The Sixth Commandment
You shall not commit adultery.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
Benediction: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. Amen. II Thess 2.16-17
*There are many patterns for devotions. This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray. It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com). The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember: T: thanksgiving
R: regret (repentance)
I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God.